The first bowl game this season between two ranked teams will be the Camping World Bowl featuring the Virginia Tech Hokies and Oklahoma State Cowboys. Kickoff is set for 5:15 EST on Thursday, December 28 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Fans can watch the game on ESPN.

The Cowboys enter the game as 6.5-point favorites. The over/under for the game is set at 63 points. Click here for a full list of bowl game betting odds and links to game previews.

Camping World Bowl Preview & Betting Predictions: Virginia Tech vs Oklahoma State

The no. 22 Hokies enter bowl season as one of the more underrated teams in the country. They were overshadowed in the ACC by the great seasons that Clemson and Miami had but managed to finish the season 9-3. With a win in their bowl game, Virginia Tech will have 10 wins in back-to-back seasons under Justin Fuente.

No. 19 Oklahoma State also finished with a 9-3 record in 2017. Behind quarterback Mason Rudolph, the Cowboys had one of the best offenses in the country. However, the OSU defense didn’t always hold up its end of their bargain, keeping them out of the Big 12 title game. Nevertheless, Mike Gundy has guided Oklahoma State to their 12th straight bowl game. With a win over Virginia Tech, the Cowboys will have won 10 games for the third straight year.

2017 Camping World Free NCAAF Betting Pick: Virginia Tech +6.5

I’m going to lean toward Virginia Tech in this game, especially as the underdog. I won’t deny that Oklahoma State has a prolific offense. But they haven’t seen many quality defenses this season. The Hokies have a defense that can cause problems for the Cowboys, and I’m not sure the same can be said of the OSU defense. As usual, I’ll take my chances with the better defensive team.

Virginia Tech finished the season 5th in the country in points allowed at 13.5 points per game. Even the best teams the Hokies faced didn’t have much success. Miami scored 28 points but also turned the ball over three times. Clemson scored 31 points but benefited from a defensive touchdown and was held under 200 yards passing. Even when challenged, the Virginia Tech defense has held up well.

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To be fair, the Oklahoma State offense has more going for it than just Rudolph. Running back Justice Hill is a ferocious runner who gained 5.5 yards per carry this season. Having that kind of balance will help the Cowboys make plays against the Hokies. The OSU offense isn’t going to get shut out against Virginia Tech. However, they’re also not going to slice through the Hokies the way they did against most Big 12 teams this year.

That will put plenty of pressure on the Oklahoma State defense to keep the Hokies to a reasonable point total. Virginia Tech doesn’t boast a ton of offensive talent, but they have enough to take advantage of a porous OSU defense. Cam Phillips is one of the best receivers in the country, so I expect him to give the Cowboys plenty of trouble. Josh Jackson is also the most athletic quarterback the Cowboys will face this season. He had some trouble throwing the ball late in the season, but the extra practice time before bowl season should serve him well.

In the end, it’ll require a good performance on both offense and defense for the Cowboys to win by a touchdown and cover the spread. Virginia Tech is good enough defensively to slow down OSU somewhat, and I’m not sure the same is true for the Oklahoma State defense. I’ll take my chances with the better defensive team beating the spread.